How Your Prostate Changes With Age

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Prostate Changes Throughout The Years

As the human body ages, there are changes to the male
reproductive system. Unlike women who experience a sudden change in fertility,
men experience reproductive changes over time. Growing older can effect such
things as urinary function and output. Although there is no way to prevent prostate
changes from occurring, early and proper treatment for other health conditions
can help detect any abnormal growth changes that can interfere with the
enjoyment of life.

The prostate is a small gland found in the male reproductive
system responsible for the production of semen. By the time a man is in his
20’s, his prostate is the size of a walnut. In his 40’s, the prostate has grown
to the size of an apricot. 20 years later at 60 years of age, the prostate
grows to the size of a lemon. As the prostate continues to enlarge over time it
pushes against the bladder and urethra. This pressure can cause urinary
function difficulties associated with prostatitis. Prostatitis is the swelling
of the prostate that can lead to a bacterial infection. Pressure placed on the
urethra due to inflammation can be associated with many symptoms that include:

Burning or stinging when passing urine Pain in the groin Trouble
passing urine Small urine output, despite feeling a strong urge to go Flu like
symptoms Sexual dysfunction Low sex drive

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With the prostate gradually increasing in size over time, many
men experience sexual dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is a condition that
results in an inability to achieve and maintain an erection. This condition can
last for years or a lifetime. Although erectile dysfunction can be caused by
other underlying medical conditions such as diabetes, it is often a result of
an enlarged prostate. With pain and pressure put on the groin because of
prostatitis, men can experience ejaculatory problems due to an inflamed
prostate putting pressure against the urethra.Benign prostatic hyperplasia
(BPH) is another condition in which the prostate is enlarged due to the growth
of abnormal cells. BPH shares many symptoms with prostatitis like trouble
urinating, but it can lead to more serious complications. If abnormal cells
have grown to where it restricts the bladder from fully emptying, urine can
backflow causing bladder and kidney infections. Over time if BPH is not treated
properly the flow of urine can be blocked completely leading to kidney failure.
In some cases of prostate growth, abnormal cells can be cancerous. As a man
ages the likelihood of developing prostate cancer increases. Men in their 40’s
have a 1 in 10,000 chance of being diagnosed with cancer. By the time a man is
in his 60’s, the likelihood of being diagnosed increases to 1 in 15 men according
to Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

While the symptoms of prostate cancer can develop slowly, a
man’s risk of being diagnosed increases with age. Abnormal cellular growth
often increases inflammation of the prostate, causing a variety of symptoms
form urinary problems to erectile dysfunction. Although symptoms can worsen
with age causing bacterial infections and inflammation due to prostatitis and
benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), conditions with the prostate are treatable,
but not preventable.